Although Assembly committees regularly involve the public in its work, and have done so using a variety of techniques (including events, focus groups, web-chats, surveys, video interviews, workshops, and crowdsourcing apps), this is the first time an Assembly committee has asked the people of Wales to decide a future committee inquiry.
How they sourced ideas
The chair of the Committee, Bethan Jenkins AM sat down with James Williams from BBC Wales to talk about the newly formed committee on Facebook live, the first time the National Assembly had ever done so. Bethan encouraged people to get in touch, and make suggestions for priority areas.
The Committee invited people to suggest ideas on Facebook, Twitter and by e-mail, and also held an event at the National Eisteddfod to continue the conversation.
What people said
A number of suggestions were received from a mix of organisations, groups and individuals, which were then grouped and presented to the Committee. The members then cross referenced this public list with the priority areas they had identified in a planning session they had held.
There was a lot of common ground between the Committee members’ priority areas and the public list, including:
how the ambition of achieving a million Welsh speakers can be achieved
concern at the continuing decline of local media and local news journalism
lack of portrayal of Wales on UK broadcast networks
For the first time, the Assembly has established a Committee with specific responsibility for communications, culture, the arts, the historic environment, broadcasting and the media.
These issues are the things that enrich our lives, that fashion and explain our narrative as a nation, that are the soul of our unique culture and heritage, and help define what it is to be Welsh.
The new Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee is a group of eight Assembly Members from across Wales, who represent the five political parties which make up the Assembly. Over the summer, the Committee provided a variety of opportunities for people to get in touch and tell us what they thought the Committee should prioritise.
Back in July, the Assembly used Facebook Live for the very first time. Over 2,700 people watched Chair of the Committee, Bethan Jenkins AM talk about her hopes for the Committee. We had lots of ideas through the Facebook Live feed, on Twitter, and by e-mail.
The Committee also held an event at the Eisteddfod where people in attendance put forward their ideas and prioritise. One of those suggestions was that the Committee should look at Welsh Language usage among young people, considering the announcement the First Minister and the Minister for Life Long Learning and Welsh Language made about the aim of growing the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050.
With a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch, this is what you told us were your priorities…
How the WG aim to increase the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050, including Welsh language usage among young people
Welsh language in secondary education, including a proposal to get rid of the concept of second language education and replace it with one continuum of Welsh learning
Encouraging people to carry on using the Welsh language after they leave school
Bilingual support for deaf and hard of hearing people
Funding for and access to music education
A strategy to develop the music industry in Wales
Fees and terms for the visual and applied arts
Access to and funding of the arts at a grassroots and local level
How Wales supports its traditional and unique cultural arts
Progression of Expert Review into Local Museums report
The Wales brand
Preserving local heritage in Wales
Cultural and historical education in Wales
What can the Welsh Government do to tackle the democratic deficit in Wales
The state of local journalism in Wales
Welsh media representation on a UK level
Funding for the Welsh media
The implications of the BBC Charter on S4C
Citizen participation and access to political information
The Committee took these suggestions into consideration whilst planning the big issues they wanted to tackle over the next 5 years. There was a lot of common ground between the suggestions the Committee received and some of the Committees priorities, including:
how the ambition of achieving a million Welsh speakers can be achieved
concern at the continuing decline of local media and local news journalism
lack of portrayal of Wales on UK broadcast networks
the role of Radio in Wales
the remit, funding and accountability of S4C
We have grouped the remaining ideas together, and want the public to decide which issue you think the Committee should investigate in the next couple of months, once the Committee has completed its work on the Welsh language strategy. This is the first time an Assembly Committee will have given the public the ability to so directly decide what its focus should be.
This is not to say that we will ignore all but the most popular issue. All of these responses will help us decide our priorities further down the line, and we intend to follow-up all of these areas, be that through a formal inquiry, by asking questions to Ministers or by seeking plenary debates.
The Committee is committed to engaging the range of individuals, groups, businesses and organisations in its work, and hope that by providing opportunities to directly affect the Committees work that it effectively represents the interest of Wales and its people.
More about the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.
The National Assembly for Wales is committed to promoting and supporting an inclusive workplace, where difference is celebrated and valued.
The Diversity and Inclusion team here at the Assembly regularly organises events in order to raise awareness and generate discussion around issues, and Diversity and Inclusion week is something we participate in every year.
On 8 July 2016 Betty Campbell (MBE) was invited to speak to staff at the Assembly by its INSPIRE Women’s network, and REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) Black Minority Ethnic network.
The networks invited Betty to the Assembly as part of a joint network initiative, so they could hear her inspirational story in her own words. Despite being told as a young girl that achieving her dream of becoming a teacher “would be insurmountable”, she wasn’t deterred and overcame many barriers to become the first black head teacher in Wales during the 1970s.
She remains a respected member of the Butetown community, where she held the position of Head at Mount Stuart Primary school, and is now recognised as an academic and important authority on education.
Betty is truly a role model for both black people and women, which is why both our INSPIRE and REACH staff networks felt privileged to have the chance to hear her story in person. The opportunity to ask Betty questions was particularly popular, in fact we had so many questions that we ran out of time for Betty to answer them.
We were lucky enough to record an interview with Betty during her visit to the Assembly, so you can share her story too.
Here is her story, in her own words: what inspired her; what helped her achieve her goals; her inspiration to others facing similar barriers and her advice to people facing their own obstacles.
Article by Amy Clifton, National Assembly for Wales Research Service, In Briefblog.
On Tuesday, 8 December 2015 the Assembly will debate the Public Health (Wales) Bill in Plenary. The Health and Social Care Committee, tasked with scrutinising the legislative proposal, issued a Report on the Bill last week and made a number of recommendations and suggested amendments.
At the start of the consultation, the Assembly’s Outreach team conducted a national survey to ask the people of Wales what they thought of the Welsh Government proposals relating to e-cigarettes, special procedures and intimate piercing.
Much of the attention surrounding the Public Health (Wales) Billhas focused on e-cigarettes. However another interesting area of the Bill concerns special procedures and intimate piercing (Parts 3 and 4 of the Bill).
The Bill as drafted would create a mandatory licensing scheme for practitioners and businesses carrying out special procedures in Wales. The special procedures currently included are acupuncture, electrolysis, body piercing and tattooing, although the Bill would also allow Welsh Ministers to amend this list through secondary legislation.
Many stakeholders indicated in their evidence to the Committee that there is currently a significant lack of quality control within the tattoo and piercing industries. The Committee heard alarming reports that many procedures are being done by people with little, if any, knowledge of anatomy, infection control or healing processes.
Stakeholders also highlighted additional procedures they believe should be included the Bill. These included body modification (scarification, dermal implants, branding and tongue splitting), injection of liquid into the body (botox or dermal fillers), and laser treatments (tattoo removal or hair removal).
The Assembly Outreach team made a short video, interviewing practitioners across Wales:
Tattoo artists in the video express particular concern about branding, scarification, ‘extreme body modification’ (such as tongue splitting and penis splitting) and dermal implants. They explain that scarification (where a section of the skin is removed to leave a scar) is often performed dangerously.
The tattooists also say that branding is being done with blowtorches and bent coat hangers, and adapted soldering irons, and describe concerns about dermal implants, such as inserting horns and stars under the skin:
Inserting foreign objects into your body is not a good thing without some sort of legislative weight behind it to say, ‘That’s unsafe’, or, ‘Is the material safe?’ or ‘Has it been checked?’; ‘Is it sterile? Have you autoclaved it before you put it in there? Where did you get it from? Has this come out of a five-penny ball machine round the corner?’
The Bill proposes to set an age restriction of 16 years old for intimate piercing. It defines the intimate body parts as the anus, breast, buttock, natal cleft, penis, perineum, pubic mound, scrotum and vulva.
Whilst there is support for the principle of an age restriction, many stakeholders believe that 18 would be a more appropriate minimum age limit for intimate areas. For example, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) believes that 18 would be a more appropriate age restriction, as this is in line with the minimum age for tattooing, and reflects the level of maturity needed to make such decisions. Stakeholders also reasoned that an individual aged 16 is still growing and therefore the risk of damage to skin is greater. It was also noted that intimate body piercings require a higher standard of aftercare than tattoos, as they are potentially more susceptible to infection.
Dr Ncube supports a higher age limit, noting that there are long term implications with genital piercing. He gave a case study example of a father with a genital piercing, who was playing with his daughter, and his daughter accidentally kicked him.
The trauma that was caused by the genital piercing resulted in the formation of gangrene in his penis. It’s a condition called Fournier’s condition. Because of that, the scarring that occurred was profound. So, genital piercing is attended with considerable risks, and it’s not just the piercing alone that is important, but it’s the long-term implications of it.
There was also a strong message from stakeholders, including Public Health Wales, that tongue piercing should be included in this part of the Bill, with witnesses describing a high risk of complications, harm and infection.
You can watch the debate on the Public Health (Wales) Bill live on senedd.tvor catch-up at a later date. For more information on the work of the Committee, visit their website on www.assembly.wales/seneddhealth
It can be difficult for people who are over 50 to find a job, especially one which uses all their skills. The Committee decided to look into what can be done about this because people are living longer and pensions are getting smaller. The majority of people are working longer and by now it is not required for people to retire when they are 60 or 65 years old.
As well as asking outside organisations, academics and the public what they think by asking them to respond in writing the Committee also visited representative organisations to discuss the inquiry with them.
Some of the barriers discussed during these visits were the lack of funding for training opportunities and the lack of things like IT skills. You can see read more about these discussions on the Committee’s webpage here.
Here, Rhun Ap Iorwerth AM tells us about his discussion with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Human Resources staff.
As well as visiting representative organisations the Committee also spoke to individuals during their meetings at the Senedd, including the office of the older people’s commissioner for Wales and representatives from Age Cymru and Prime Cymru.
The Committee have published their report which includes recommendations on things the Committee thinks the Welsh Government should do to make it easier for people over 50 to find employment. One of the things the Committee have recommended that the Welsh Government do is to hold an ‘Age Positive’ campaign to encourage employers to employ people over 50. With the older people’s commissioner the Welsh Government should also have a campaign which will increase the number of work placements and apprenticeships for people over 50. The Committee also recommend that the Welsh Government should write a skills strategy for people over 50 which says how they will help those people get the skills they need to get a job.
You can see a copy of the full report or a summary report here and you can view press coverage from the report launch below by clicking on the images.
The Committee will be speaking to the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology during the autumn term to ask what she will do about their recommendations.
Generally, the evidence we heard showed that there was support for the overall aims of the Bill, particularly in terms of simplifying the existing law about renting. But, we did hear specific concerns about a number of areas in the Bill, and our recommendations to the Minister reflect these.
Amongst other things, our recommendations relate to:
the condition of rental properties – i.e. the requirement on a landlord to ensure that the property they are offering for rent is ‘fit for human habitation’ and in a good state of repair;
the proposals for 16 or 17 year olds to be able to hold an ‘occupation contract’ (the new term for a tenancy);
the proposals allowing landlords to exclude someone with a supported standard contract from their home for up to 48 hours without a court order.
Full details about all our recommendations, including the ones I have referred to above, can be found in our report.
The next step in the Bill’s progress is the Stage 1 debate. This is due to take place on 7 July in the Assembly’s debating chamber, and will involve Members discussing and agreeing whether the Bill proceeds to the next stage of the legislative process.
This is a question Assembly Members at the National Assembly ask every day, in committee meetings, or in Plenary meetings, in the main debating chamber of the Senedd, in Cardiff Bay.
If the Welsh Government’s job is to “help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work”, then it’s important that the Assembly hears from the wide range of people affected by the decisions that the Welsh Government makes. The National Assembly for Wales is the body tasked with analysing how well the Welsh Government is doing so, after all.
How the Assembly does this has changed significantly over the last few years, particularly when it comes to the work of Assembly committees. People still reply to invitations to write to the Assembly to give evidence. Individuals, organisations and charities still visit the Senedd to be quizzed by AMs in formal meetings, though different approaches are needed to hear from different audiences.
People everywhere lead increasingly busy lives, so making participation in the Assembly’s work as easy and accessible as possible is vital for engaging with the wide variety of people that make up the population of Wales. Increasingly at the Assembly, committees have been using digital channels to encourage people to share their views with us.
We’ve used Google Hangouts to speak with students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Skills and Higher Education Funding, filmed members of the public on an iPad and shown it as evidence at formal committee meetings, and used Twitter to source questions to ask the leader of the Welsh Government, First Minister Carwyn Jones AM.
The following video is a video of Rhun ap Iorwerth AM and Julie James AM being interviewed after taking part in their first web-chat on Google Hangout for the STEM Skills inquiry:
In the last few months we used Loomio for the first time, as part of the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry looking into alcohol and substance misuse in Wales. Loomio is a web-application to assist groups with collaborative decision-making processes.
A key part of the inquiry was talking directly with the people affected by these issues, but some people find attending official committee meetings intimidating. Also not all those affected have the capacity to put their thoughts and feelings to the Committee in writing. Loomio allowed the Committee to talk to people, without everyone needing to be in the same room.
Service providers and clients used the online forum to tell us what issues they had experienced, and what they wanted the Welsh Government to should do about it. This is a screenshot showing some of the contributions we had to the discussion:
At the end of the evidence-gathering process, once a Committee has considered everything that people have told them, they will usually write to the Welsh Government. This is to explain what steps the Committee would like to see the Welsh Government take to improve people’s lives in Wales, based on the evidence the Committee have heard.
This tends to be in official reports, which can be quite lengthy, but we are looking at different ways of presenting committee reports to make them shorter and easier to understand, at-a-glance.
One of the summary versions is this video, made for people who were filmed for an inquiry looking at youth entrepreneurship:
Using digital channels and platforms has allowed us to engage with people more effectively and easily than before.
It’s also meant that more people can help the Assembly scrutinise the Welsh Government’s performance, so the Assembly’s recommendations to the Welsh Government are based on the issues people experience in their everyday lives.
I’m David Rees (@DavidReesAM), Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee.
In September 2014 the Committee started looking into the issue of new psychoactive substances (“NPS”). We have now finished our inquiry and have written a report (PDF, 1MB) making 14 recommendations to the Welsh Government. A shorter summary (PDF, 252KB) is also available.
What are New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)?
NPS are commonly marketed as safer and legal alternatives to illegal drugs, often made in laboratories and sold via the internet or in so-called “head shops” that exist on the high street. They are often referred to as “legal highs”. This marketing is misleading – their side effects can be as serious as those caused by illegal drugs, and they can be as addictive too. Often, they also contain traces of substances that are against the law to sell and take.
Why did we hold this inquiry?
We decided to look into this issue because the use of NPS has grown in Wales, and elsewhere, in recent years. In 2013, 60 deaths in England and Wales involved NPS, 15 per cent higher than the previous year. Members were concerned about the health and social harms caused by NPS, and wanted to shine a light on the steps that need to be taken to allow people to make more informed decisions about their use of NPS.
How did we gather people’s views for this inquiry?
We used a number of different ways to ask people what they think about NPS, including:
asking the public to fill in a survey, which 1072 people responded to from across Wales;
inviting representatives from key organisations to speak with Members in official meetings at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay;
holding focus groups in Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham to hear directly from frontline staff, and Committee members visited the LOTS project, Forsythia Youth Club, DrugAid and the headquarters of DAN 24/7, Wales’ national substance misuse helpline.
The Committee also used storify to keep people updated on the inquiry’s progress.
What did people tell the Committee and what have we done about it?
What the Committee was told
More needs to be done to increase public awareness of the harms caused by using NPS;
the term “legal highs” is really unhelpful. It suggests that using these substances is a safe and legal thing to do. In reality, they are often really harmful and contain illegal substances;
the UK Government, which is responsible for drugs policy, should ban the supply of NPS, making “head shops” and market stalls that sell NPS illegal;
those using NPS should not be given a criminal record – that could make things even worse for users who are trying to get their lives back on track;
not enough is known about how many people are taking NPS and what harms they can cause.
What we said in our report
The current drugs education programme in schools should be reviewed urgently to make it better and more consistent across Wales, and to make sure it is delivered by people who are suitably trained and qualified;
a national training programme on NPS should be developed for all staff providing public services (e.g. doctors, nurses, police, social workers, prison officers etc);
the Welsh Government’s 2015 public awareness campaign on NPS should include targeted information for young people and emphasise that legal does not mean safe;
those working in this field, including the media, should stop using the term “legal highs” as it is very misleading;
the Welsh Government should encourage the UK Government to move as quickly as possible to implement the suggested ban on the supply of NPS.
To read all 14 of our recommendations please see our report (PDF, 1MB) or the shorter summary (PDF, 252KB) document.
What did the UK and Welsh Governments think about our report?
Our report will be debated by all Assembly Members on 13 May in the Siambr, the Assembly’s main debating chamber. This will be an opportunity to draw attention to this important topic, and to put questions to the Welsh Government’s Health Minister about what the Welsh Government will do to deliver our recommendations.
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their experiences of NPS and their views about what needs to be done to raise public awareness of their harms. Although the Committee itself can only recommend changes rather than being able to make the changes itself, we will continue to put pressure on the Welsh Government and others to deliver the actions set out in our report.
How to get involved and keep up-to date with our work
My name is Claire Blakeway and I am the Vice President for the Heath Park Campus at Cardiff University Students’ Union. On Wednesday the 18th of March, I took part in a consultation event to scrutinise the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill. This involved Assembly Members speaking to a wide range of tenants about their experiences of renting properties from the council, housing association and private landlords. Tenants from different rental areas were put into focus groups which were led by Assembly Members. In my focus group, I was representing the tenancy views of students.
On the whole I agreed with ideas of the new Housing Bill but felt that there needed to be more detail around repair agreements. For example, there needs to be a detailed scheduling timeline in the agreement that outlines how quickly landlords should react to acknowledging and working towards resolving a repair that is reported by a tenant. I feel that currently tenants can be waiting a long time before repairs are addressed, and as result of this they are essentially paying to rent a property that isn’t fully to the standard that they originally rented the property out for. By implementing a repair agreement with specific timelines, both landlords and tenants will know exactly what to expect in the case of a repair and landlords can work to complete a repair in a pre-agreed timeline and thus meet the expectations of their tenant.
Here’s Claire being interviewed after the event:
I also fed my ideas into the focus group around how firmer repercussions need to be implemented for landlords and tenants who breach their contracts. The more serious repercussions are, the more likely it is that contracts will be adhered too and respected.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the focus groups, and it was great to hear AM so interested in the views of students. I look forward to seeing the Housing Bill being released, and hope that my views will be taken on board. Thank you to the Welsh Assembly for inviting me along!
The next step is for the Committee to hear what other people think about the Bill in formal meetings at the Senedd. The first of these meetings takes place on Wednesday morning, where the Committee will talk to the Welsh Government Minister responsible for the Bill, Lesley Griffiths AM. You can watch this meeting live on Senedd TV.
More information about the meeting is available here.
During the last week of March the National Assembly for Wales held its week-long #SeneddWrexham series of events. Here Lowri Lloyd Williams, the North Wales Outreach Manager runs through the week’s events.
Monday 23 March 2015
Launching #SeneddWrexham, we parked the Assembly bus in the town’s Queens Square, where we had a steady stream of visitors during the day.
Mr Pugh was our first visitor, who stopped by on his way to collect milk for his wife, to raise points around transport in the Wrexham area. He was concerned about the road surfaces as well as the amount of roadworks on the A55 and its effect on the area. Parking charges was also a point Mr Pugh wanted to raise.
Other issues raised on the bus during the day included broadband speed, raising awareness of the Assembly’s work and health related matters, specifically breast cancer services.
Andrew Atkinson and Alex Jones from Wrexham Business Group also came on the bus to raise points about business rates. They left the following video regarding business rates in the town.
We were also visited on the bus by Dr Helen Paterson, Chief Executive of Wrexham Borough Counciland John Gallenders, Chief Executive of AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations Wrexham) who encouraged their staff to get involved in #SeneddWrexham.
Tuesday 24 March 2015
Day two of #SeneddWrexham and the Assembly bus was back in Queens Square, and the people of Wrexham were still making the most of our presence, and coming to see us with plenty of questions, comments and matters to raise.
Health again was a popular topic with waiting times, cross border services and free prescriptions among the matters raised. Members of the public who raised these were encouraged to contact their Assembly Members to discuss further and look at the work the National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care committeehave done recently.
We were delighted to be joined by Welsh Baccalaureate students from St Christopher’s School, Wrexham during the morning. They were given a short presentation on the National Assembly for Wales and as part of the Votes@16 consultation we had an interesting debate around lowering the voting age to 16. You can find out more about the consultation here.They also thought that young people should be given more opportunities to learn about politics and that Assembly Members should commit to having young people shadow them.
St Christophers School during their visit to the bus.
We were also visited by Lynn Morris and Yvonne McCarroll from Wrexham Tenants Group who wanted to learn about ways that tenants could get involved and have their say on issues that affect them. As I work for the Outreach team in North Wales this gave me a really good new contact in the Wrexham area that I can contact when working with the Assembly’s Committees on future consultations.
While some of the team were on the Assembly bus, others were at The Wrexham Foyer talking with members of their Breakfast club. They were interested to hear about who represents them and how they can have their voice heard. They also talked about the voting process and learned about how they can register to vote. Listen to Courtney and Amy talk about it here:
On Tuesday night we visited young people at The Vic in Wrexham to do a session on what the Assembly is, how many Assembly Members they have and what their job is. Other members of the team were with Dynamic Wrexham holding a similar interactive session.
Wednesday 25 March 2015
The Assembly’s presence in the center of town for #SeneddWrexham continued on Wednesday with the team setting up a pop-up stand at Contact Wrexham on Lord Street. People took the opportunity to speak to Assembly staff as they visited Wrexham council for other matters.
We also had a presence at the Info Shop in Wrexham on Wednesday to get young people to complete the Vote@16? Consultation. We met with some really interesting young people who have strong opinions about the topic. We spent some time with Lacey, 22, from Wrexham, who is against lowering the voting age as there is not enough education for young people and so they don’t know who to vote for. We also visited BAWSOduring the morning to hold a session explaining the areas effecting their life that the Assembly is responsible for, who represents them and how they can raise issues with the Assembly.
Participants during the BAWSO session.
The sessions continued for the team on Wednesday afternoon with the team visiting Welsh Women’s Aidin Wrexham to hold two sessions on understanding and engaging with the Assembly. It was really interesting session with plenty of discussion points raised. Here’s what Alison Hamlington had to say following the session:
Thursday 26 March 2015
#SeneddWrexham continued to pick up pace on Thursday with activities and events all over the town.
The Assembly was at Coleg Cambriaall day where students streamed in to take part in the votes@16 consultationwhere we wanted to hear what 11-25 year olds think about lowering the voting age to 16. We had over 300 consultation questionnaires completed during the day.
In addition we had a filming station set up in the library of Coleg Cambria, where media students interviewed their peers about lowering the voting age to 16. The students did all the filming themselves, and discussed other matters too including whether enough information about politics is given to young people and whether voting should be mandatory. You can see these videos through the playlist
The students staged a ‘Your Assembly takeover’, where their content took over our website aimed at young people for the day. You can view photographs from the day in our Flickr Album.
The day ended with a #SeneddWrexham reception hosted by the Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler AM. It was a successful event with around 70 local people present where we celebrated the work of community champions in the Wrexham area. To the sound of musicians from Coleg Cambria there was plenty of networking between politicians, leaders of civic and community leaders during the evening.
Friday 27 March 2015
The final day of #SeneddWrexham arrived and it was another busy day for the team.
Friday started with our education officers over in Rhosnesni High School where over 150 young people took part in the votes@16? consultation. This was followed by a session with the school council.
Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM joined in with the school council meeting where they discussed the issues they had tackled within the school during the past 12 months, including school uniform.
The school council having their say for votes@16.
After spending the morning on our pop-up stand at Glyndwr University, I spent the afternoon with a group from Hafal in Wrexham delivering the final understanding and engaging workshop of the week. It was an interactive session with plenty of discussion and we were joined by Aled Roberts AM where he spoke about his role as an Assembly Member.
The Hafal group following the presentation.
Meanwhile, over in Glyndwr University members of National Assembly for Wales and Cardiff University staff met with students and hyperlocal bloggers and journalists. The event was part of the Presiding Officer’s Democratic Deficitinitiative, to try and help community journalists around Wales to access information about the Assembly more easily.
The Presiding Officer has pledged to work towards addressing the ‘Democratic Deficit’ caused by large numbers of people in Wales consuming news and current affairs from UK broadcasters and media organisations which often ignore the different public policy landscape in Wales compared to England.
Journalists, including many from the Glyndwr journalism school, had the chance to interview the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM and the Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM. They also attended a press conference style event with Dame Rosemary Butler AM.
We would like to thank everyone who engaged with us during the week for the lovely warm welcome that we had in Wrexham.
It’s was a fantastic week and I know we’ve all had a lot out of the work that we’ve done and hope that you have too.
You can view photographs from the week in our Flickr album .
If you’d like to learn more about the work of the Outreach team in North Wales, then you can contact the Assembly on 0300 200 6565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.